ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Health Fusion: Men who worry and their risk of heart disease

Men who worry may be at increased of getting heart disease younger. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams has details of a new study about the potential negative effects of worrying.

Men who sorry
Men who worry may develop health risks, study shows
Dreamstime/TNS
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — What triggers you to worry? Your job, money, relationships, politics, the pandemic?

The list of potential worry-inducing issues goes on. And research reveals that worry is bad for your health.

If you're a middle-aged man who worries or is often anxious, your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes may go up as you get older. That's according to research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“While the participants were primarily white men, our findings indicate higher levels of anxiousness or worry among men are linked to biological processes that may give rise to heart disease and metabolic conditions, and these associations may be present much earlier in life than is commonly appreciated — potentially during childhood or young adulthood,” says Lewina Lee, lead author of the study, and assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.

Heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes can be lumped into a category called cardiometabolic diseases. The researchers looked at data from more than 1,500 middle-aged men to see if there was a relationship between anxiety and cardiometabolic diseases over time. Plus, the men in the study filled out questionnaires about their levels of worry and neuroticism.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lee defines neuroticism as a personality trait characterized by a tendency to interpret situations as threatening, stressful and/or overwhelming. And she says worry refers to our attempts at problem-solving around uncertain issues. Worry can be a good thing, but not when it interferes with daily life.

The researchers found that men with high levels of neuroticism had a greater number of high-risk cardiometabolic risk factors. And men who worried a lot had a 10% higher likelihood of having six or more cardiometabolic disease risk factors.

Might treatment for worry and anxiety help to reduce the risk factors? The researchers say they don't know that yet. But they say that men who worry should pay attention to their cardiometabolic health. By taking steps such as having regular checkups, controlling blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight, men may be able to reduce their chances of developing disease.

What to read next
Leafy greens are popping in area gardens. If you're not a big fan of kale, but still want the nutritional benefit, try adding some to a smoothie. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares a favorite green smoothie recipe that even some of the most kale-adverse people will like. Honest!
Only 7 percent of U.S. adults have optimal measures of health. But you can take steps to make your numbers better. In this Health Fusion column, Viv Williams explores a study about our nation's cardiometabolic health status. And she shares her own lifestyle lapses in judgement.
Experts warn that simply claiming the benefits may create paper trails for law enforcement officials in states criminalizing abortion. That will complicate life for the dozens of corporations promising to protect, or even expand, the abortion benefits for employees and their dependents.
In Minnesota, abortion is protected by the state’s constitution and is legal up to the point of viability, which is generally thought to begin at about 24 weeks, when the fetus can survive outside the womb. Those who work with Minnesotans who seek abortions say barriers, both legal and practical, forced some to travel to Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin even prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.